It's an age of absolute wonders across the known world, from incredible pyramids to the Library of Alexandria, and you're working hard to make sure your culture is the most prosperous amongst a sea of luminary competitors. But now, the world wants more from you, and demands to see incredible Edifices raised up all throughout the world. Will you partake in helping build these incredible structures? Or will you let them falter in the planning stage? This is the question posed to players in 7 Wonders Edifice, a new expansion to the incredible card-drafting game 7 Wonders. Asmodee just sent a preview copy of the expansion to test out, so follow along to see if this expansion raises one of our favorite games to new heights, or brings it all crumbling down.
Wait, First... What Is 7 Wonders?
Great question! Before we dive into the expansion, let's talk briefly about the base game. 7 Wonders is a card drafting game, where players compete to gain the most victory points by collecting resources, purchasing cards, and building up your academic, structural, and military pursuits. What makes 7 Wonders so special is that it can be played with, as the name hints, up to seven players. Each round (of which there are three total), players are dealt seven cards, and must select one from their hand to place down in front of them. They then pass the rest of the cards in their hand to the player on their left, reveal the card they selected, and then repeat until are cards are gone for the age.
It's this pick and pass, pick and pass gameplay loop that we find so utterly satisfying, replicating - of all things - the draft format so well-loved in Magic: The Gathering. So those are the basics: you pick and pass cards to build up points, resources, and momentum, until in the end one player reigns supreme.
How Does 7 Wonders Edifice Change The Base Game?
7 Wonders Edifice changes the base game with the inclusion of new Edifice Cards. These cards are double-sided, showing a project side to the card and a side depicting the edifice as completely constructed. At the start of the game, an Edifice Card is drawn for each age of the game, and participation tokens are placed on each card. At any time you would complete a stage of your wonder, if you also pay the participation price listed on the card, you can take a participation token and place it on your board. If all tokens are removed from the Edifice Card, the Edifice is built, giving you either instant benefits, or helping you score more points at the end of the game.
But there's a twist! There are always less participation tokens on each edifice card than there are players in the game. So inevitably one player will be unable to participate in the construction of the edifice. If the edifice is still built, the person who didn't participate simply receives no bonuses for the edifice's construction. But! If at the end of the era the edifice was unable to be built, each player who did not participate in its construction (and therefore does not have a participation token on their wonder board), suffers a penalty. These penalties could be losing gold, military tokens, or even cards from your city!
What's Included In 7 Wonders Edifice?
7 Wonders Edifice includes the following game components, all stored in a slim, half-sized box:
- 2 New Wonder Boards - Carthage and Ur
- 15 Edifice cards
- 24 Participation pawns
- 15 Debt tokens
- 12 Military Conflict tokens
- 3 Coins worth 6
- 1 score pad
- 3 Description of New Effects sheets and core rulebook
The two new Wonder boards included in the game are welcome additions, with Carthage (pictured above) offering you a choice between two different rewards when you construct its second stage. The other Wonder Board, Ur, allows users to gain an additional participation token for any age you'd like, which will either give you double the benefits of building the relevant edifice, or protect you from negative effects should the edifice fail to be constructed.
Is 7 Wonders Edifice A Good Expansion?
Absolutely! 7 Wonders Edifice is our favorite kind of expansion. It adds a single, approachable layer to the game without over complicating the core mechanics. But nested within that new layer of gameplay are more decision points to make, encouraging players to be more mindful of their resources and attempt to act as quickly as possible to join in the construction of an edifice. There's also a bit of politicking that happens as a result of this (at least at our table), where you could find yourself begging your opponents to join in and help you construct an edifice.
I absolutely hate when an expansion, no matter how exciting it may be, just slaps rule over rule over rule on top of a board game. With 7 Wonders Edifice, the addition of edifices are natural, make sense with what the core game wants you to be doing anyway, and challenges you to rethink the way you play 7 Wonders without completely overturning the applecart.
Should I Buy 7 Wonders Edifice?
If you're a fan of the base game (which you'll need to play this expansion), 7 Wonders Edifice is absolutely worth your time and money (it MSRP's for $29.99 USD). Compatible with both the 2020 reprint of the game and the original version, as well as all three previous expansions (Cities, Leaders, and Armada), 7 Wonders Edifice is a bite-sized and approachable addition to our favorite card drafting game.
The copy of 7 Wonders Edifice used in this review was provided by the publisher.